The Keys to Financial Health
Part 1 is here.
You people are not listening to me.
That's OK for me. It's Not about Me.
I only care for you.
Oh, some of you read these words. Looking, most likely, for indications
that what I'm saying matches what you already think you know.
But you are not doing anything about it.
The Keys to Financial Health generated
almost no emails. You see, I have been "doing this," TCOY, for
almost 7 years. I can smell the group consciousness through the responses
I get. (Not to mention what the distributed N-Tier proxy server tells me
about my Domain's resource allocation, but that's another story.)
"Financial Health" landed with a thud. "Maybe it's true,
but it's not true for me." That's what the group said, without saying
So here's part 2. No fanfare. It boils down to this:
- You need to eliminate your debt. Stop living beyond your
means. Consumerism does NOT feed
you. And so on.
- The "correction" we have seen in the economy and the stock
markets is not over. It has, I am sorry to say, barely begun.
- For people who are dedicated, hard working, disciplined, and willing to
work the AniAin Path, Love, Joy and Peace are
still available. So too are financial opportunities.
That's it. I have nothing else to say.
From the Associated Press, September 30, 2002:
Home Foreclosures Hit 30-Year High
By DAVE CARPENTER
.c The Associated Press
CHICAGO (Sept. 30) - Beth Johnson and the U.S. economy both were on a roll in 2000, when she bought her first home.
A single mother, the Minnesotan managed to join the fast-swelling ranks of homeowners on her modest but steady income after drawing up what seemed like a manageable budget.
What she didn't anticipate were sudden medical bills and a shrinking economy that wrecked her financial plan and dried up the job market, resulting in several missed mortgage payments and an agonizing year on the brink of foreclosure.
``Money just got tight,'' says the 25-year-old Mankato, Minn., resident, who works in customer service at a telecommunications company. ``I felt completely helpless. ... I got physically ill thinking about not having my home.''
Unexpected troubles are puncturing the American dream for increasing numbers of people nationwide.
It's the flip side to the happy homeowner scenario: Even with mortgage rates at record lows,
mortgage delinquencies are increasing and home foreclosures have climbed to all-time
According to data released this month by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, 0.4 percent of loans entered foreclosure in the second quarter and another 1.23 percent were still in the process -
both unprecedented in the 30 years the group has been keeping track.
The biggest culprit: rising unemployment, with sinking stock portfolios, illness and easy financing all contributing.
The north-central United States, including layoff-hit manufacturing areas, topped all regions with 0.47 percent of loans entering foreclosure in the second quarter.
[Well, I will explain that, since most people cannot understand the idea of
"percent." "0.47 percent" means that, for the
"rich" people who own a house, 1 out of every 200 are right now losing
that house. In your local church of 400 families, 2 families are <right
now> getting kicked out of their house. According to the previous
paragraph, 6 more families are in the process of getting kicked out of their
But the trend has left no area untouched. The South had the most mortgage problems as measured by payments 90 days or more overdue, nearly 1 percent, while Nevada, Pennsylvania and Utah were among other trouble spots.
All types of borrowers have succumbed - from six-figure earners who defaulted on $300,000 jumbo loans to middle-income couples buried in credit-card debt to first-time homebuyers taking advantage of low rates to squeeze into a house.
The mortgage group's chief economist, Doug Duncan, says the main reason is the recession, which cost 1.8 million jobs and shrank many paychecks as overtime fell.
[With all due respect...That is NOT the main reason. Living our lives
<way> too close to the brink of borrowed disaster, <that> is the
main reason. Ahyh]
Also behind it is the proliferation of non-traditional loan programs that mushroomed as mortgage rates sank, enticing borrowers into taking on more debt than they could handle, often at brokers' urging.
["Come here, little boy....I've got something shiny to show
you...."<Please> friends, do not think this is by chance. Ahyh]
More liberal lending practices have helped boost U.S. home ownership to 68 percent of all households, up from 63 percent a decade ago. But experts say some of the innovative loans, including ones for 97 percent and even 125 percent of the home's value, are showing cracks under the stress of an economic downturn.
``If Joe Sixpack can only scrape together 3 percent of the value of the home or less and has to borrow the rest, he's got no cushion if he loses his job or gets divorced,'' said James Croft, executive director of the Mortgage Asset Research Institute.
Not unlike when stocks started plummeting, [I did not lose $1 in the stock
market. Ahyh] the mortgage miseries have stirred panic among many distressed borrowers and prompted
a sharp rise in demand for financial counseling. [That's what
I've been doing for 20 years, helping people understand the truth of their
finances. It's not about me. I only wish I were better at
communicating that. Ahyh.]
``They're scared they're going to lose their house,'' [By the hundreds of
thousands and millions, they will. Ahyh] says Melinda Wright, education director of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Indiana, which
doubled its typical mortgage delinquency workload to 30 appointments
last month. ``And they're blaming themselves. They say, 'I should have known better.'''
[They were lied to. And I hurt with them. And I am sorry.
At ``Ask Susan,'' an Internet financial advice column compiled by nonprofit Money Management International,
foreclosure has recently become the most frequently asked-about topic among thousands of questions received, says Kim McGrigg, who co-writes it.
[Bankruptcy is next. Ahyh]
A posting from a woman named Poncha begins: ``I have fallen behind on the monthly house payment and the mortgage company calls me three or four times a week to ask me when I will send a payment. I want to rework the loan but they don't care. ... HELP!!!''
Still, experts say there's no cause for national alarm about the foreclosure trend.
[This is a part of the dis-information police. The previous statement
is a lie. These are the same experts that said the NASDAQ could not
possibly lose 70% of its value in 2 years. Ahyh] San Francisco-based Loan Performance, which tracks mortgage loan data monthly, says foreclosures and delinquencies may be flattening and recent loans are performing well.
[Oh...I see...Most of those loans started 90 days ago are not in foreclosure
yet? Thank you. Ahyh]
But that's scant good news for people such as Johnson, who ran into trouble making payments for her two-bedroom home after her son had ear surgery last year. She fell three or four months behind, battled to pay off other bills and finally got help from a foreclosure prevention program at
Lutheran Social Service [Anyone who
thinks I do not give equal time, or tell the truth, or have an irrational bone
to pick, your apology is accepted. Ahyh] of Minnesota.
After taking out a second loan with deferred payments, it still took a lengthy fight with her mortgage company to get foreclosure warnings stopped.
``I had a lot of anxiety, ["Be anxious for nothing, but with
thankfulness in your heart, make your requests made known to God."
Philippians 4:6. I know this is hard, mainly because I have lived
it. But this IS scripture, and I know of no other path. Ahyh]
took medication for that. [Been there, done that. Sad, but true.
Ahyh] You get dragged down and really depressed,'' she said.
Johnson admits she wasn't prepared for tough financial times and got caught up in the
home buying rush, but adds: ``There should be something out there that says you have to have so much of a cushion before you can buy a home.''
[There is. Many places. We just find it hard to listen.
Loretta Cardonia, 42, has been fighting to save her home in Houston since shortly after her husband was laid off last year. With debts and missed payments mounting, she borrowed from her 401(k) plan but remains four months behind. When the phone rings, she fears it's another foreclosure warning.
``I didn't think this was possible,'' said Cardonia, a pricing manager at a grocery store. ``It just takes a certain event and it seems to put you in a downward spiral.''
As she seeks help and another loan, the nightmare has taught Cardonia some lessons:
Manage finances better and make mortgage payments first, even at the expense of other
``I've learned that no matter what, I'm going to pay the house payments first,'' she says. ``I don't want to lose the house.''
09/30/02 06:53 EDT
Copyright 2002 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
[Officially, I guess I "redistributed" this. I am sorry if
this bothers the API. Please forgive me. Pastor Ahyh]